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Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/16/18 8:54 a.m.
wae said:

Hooray!  It took them 24 hours (and me giving them the VIN.  Again), but they found my car!

But now they've lost the key.

Make sure you lose your wallet before you go pick it up.  :)

I'm constantly reminded that professionals screw everything up just the same as I would have doing it myself.  Much respect if they diagnosed and fixed the issue efficiently, but I'm a skeptic.  

wae
wae SuperDork
10/16/18 9:10 a.m.

In reply to Tyler H :

Haha!

Yeah, I'm not really angry at them or anything.  Mistakes happen, and they have a ton of vehicles on their lot so things get lost in the shuffle.  When the service receptionist was implying that perhaps I didn't actually send the key with the car, though, I did say "Well, you guys did manage to misplace a whole car, so I don't know that it's outside of the realm of possibility that you would misplace a key".  I said it in a pretty joking way, but I do fully expect that they will either find my key or replace it at no cost to me.

Having not ever really done this sort of thing before, how does having a car towed to a dealer usually work?  Does the driver just find a nice spot, drop the car, and take off?  Do they talk to anyone and transfer any information?  I mean, they knew that the car was coming to them -- I had a drop-off appointment and when I decided to tow it in I called to let them know that I would miss the appointment time but that the car would be towed to them and then called again to tell them when the tow truck was actually en route to them.  My assumption would be that the guy would have climbed in to the car, used the key to put the car back in neutral, lowered the car off the flatbed into a parking spot, put it in park, and then taken the key inside and told someone at the service desk that he just dropped off a car.  Or is that expecting more than what would actually happen?

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/18 9:41 a.m.

I'm pretty sure this car hates someone.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/16/18 10:49 a.m.

Last night I told my wife about this saga. She was horrified that they lost the car. I said "losing the car might be the best outcome". 

wae
wae SuperDork
10/16/18 12:59 p.m.

Honestly, it wouldn't have really bothered me if they lost it or it rolled off the truck into a ditch or something.  I like it, but I'm not emotionally attached to it, it's insured, and there are more of them for sale out there.

Still no word on where the key went - they swear that the driver must have done a dump-n-run and took the key with him and I haven't heard back from the towing company.  I dropped off my last remaining key and actually talked to people in person this time.  Funny part is that after I gave them the key, they wanted me to sit and wait for "Tony" to talk to me.  I didn't really have the time, but I sat down and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  While I was waiting, one of the service techs asked another guy, "did you ever get those keys for the diesel GL?".  I hollered over "Yes.  You did.  I just dropped them off".  The other guy he was actually talking to looked over at me and gave me a very dismissive "No, I think he's talking about a different car". I shrugged and the tech continued by elaborating to the other guy that it was the one that was ticking.  Turns out the "other guy" was the Tony I was waiting on.  So either I'm the shiny happy person or they get a lot of ticking diesel GLs in the shop and they're constantly losing the keys...  We're going to get along just great.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/18 1:27 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Maybe it's not the car that hates you. It's Mercedes as a whole. 

wae
wae SuperDork
10/18/18 9:01 a.m.

Still no word on either the cause of the ticking or the location of my key.  I did drive by the dealer last night and it looked like the car wasn't still parked outside where the tow operator dumped it, so I guess that's progress.

The tow company has been handling this well.  I called them at 9am Tuesday and asked about the location of my key and they said they'd call me back.  I called them again yesterday at 9am and they told me that Zach was off on Tuesday and they couldn't get ahold of him.  I called again around 4pm yesterday and my call went to a voicemail box that was full.  Since I had it towed in using my insurance company's roadside assistance program, I called up Safeco and filed a complaint with them so now they're on the job.  Hopefully that will light a fire under them.

In the meantime, I'm going to work on towing contingency plan A: My sister has this '97 K1500 extended cab/short bed that needs a little bit of work.  The biggest deal is that the intake manifold gaskets leak coolant, so I'm going to go get the gasket & bolt set in a little bit and see about getting that swapped out.  Then I'll hit up the junkyard and get a couple new bumpers and a trailer hitch for it.

wae
wae SuperDork
10/22/18 5:10 p.m.

Dealer just called. They say new engine - something in the bottom end on the right side.  They'll put in a Mercedes reman for the low price of only $21,000.

So now I need to find a place to have it towed to and then set on fire.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/22/18 6:45 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Ouch!

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
10/22/18 7:06 p.m.

I might be interested in the thing if the price was right. Or you could do what I would do with it - strip it for parts and sell them on eBay. The engine is a tiny % of the total value of a parted out car. 

pjbgravely
pjbgravely HalfDork
10/22/18 7:08 p.m.

Still sounds like a wrist pin. All you will need is a rod, rod bearing, pin and pistion. That should only be 10 grand in Merc parts.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/22/18 7:18 p.m.

My quote was for $53k and I fixed it for something like $3500 in parts. I think the mechanics are liars and don't know what the hell it is. They don't want to tear it apart and accrue billable hours when they don't know if it's repairable. They gave you the "go away" quote. This next part may be obvious, but I'd tear it apart. What's the truck worth in operating condition?

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/22/18 7:19 p.m.

That surprises me.

Figuring a 600 RPM idle speed, that sure does sound like a 1/2 speed knock. I would think valve train. 

This is 600 BPM

This is 300 BPM

I'd be real interested in seeing what is actually broken. 

wae
wae SuperDork
10/22/18 7:24 p.m.

Well, I've been considering the part-out option. A new DPF is something like $5k, the diesel injection pump is about a grand, etc, etc, and so on.  The problem is that I suspect the market for these parts is really limited so it may take a very, very long time to get my money out of it.  I've considered just selling it as-is, but I have no idea how to value the thing - it is certainly worth less than the $21k that they want to charge me.  

My understanding is that some engines can have rods, pistons, rings, and rod bearings replaced in situ by pulling the head and the oil pan, but I'm 99% certain that on this one, the oil pan can't come off unless you separate it from the sub-frame.  That means pulling the engine and I do not currently have the equipment to do that - my crane doesn't have enough reach to take it out the top, I don't think the core support is a bolt-in, and I can't lift the car high enough to get the engine out the bottom.  I would likely have to build a gantry of some sort to mount a hoist and bring the motor up that way.  The next problem would be finding a place to put the car while I was working on the engine since my shop isn't big enough to fit both of them.

On top of that, I can't help but be at least slightly suspicious that he said he'd have someone from sales contact me tomorrow to see what they "might be able to do" for me.

wae
wae SuperDork
10/22/18 7:26 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I'm not going to lie: when he was telling me that on the phone, my immediate thought was that I was getting a half-Seth. laugh

My estimate on the value is about $20kish.  They've got another 2012 on the lot there at an asking of $14k, but it has over 200k on the clock...

wae
wae SuperDork
10/22/18 7:31 p.m.
Toyman01 said:

That surprises me.

Figuring a 600 RPM idle speed, that sure does sound like a 1/2 speed knock. I would think valve train. 

This is 600 BPM

This is 300 BPM

I'd be real interested in seeing what is actually broken. 

See, that's exactly my thought as well.  It just doesn't sound fast enough to be bottom end to me.  One of my options is to see if they'll bill me for some labor time to sit down and talk with their tech. I might be able to get a second opinion from another shop - maybe the freightliner dealer since they see Sprinters with the OM642 or the indy shop that's blown me off twice now.  I did ask the clarifying question of the guy: you're sure it's in the bottom end and not the valvetrain. He assures me that their guy is sure that it's bottom-end-new-engine-time.  I suppose I could source a new head and try that, but that's a hell of a gamble.

Oh, and they have also denied any responsibility whatsoever for the missing key...

As an aside, the Interwebz say that the OM642 idles at 680 RPM.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/22/18 8:35 p.m.

"I don't know what's broken, but I know a whole new motor will fix it."

I think they're full of crap but know you don't have options. This isn't the sort of fix they do at the dealer level and I get that, but I still feel like they need more transparency when they do this to people. 

wae
wae SuperDork
10/22/18 8:50 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

They think​​ I don't have options, but they must not have seen the GRM bumper sticker. That and the TTWO logo that's back there should have been their clue that I'm not afraid to get so far out over my skis that I end up in the summer Olympics!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/22/18 8:57 p.m.

If you weren't a really really long way away I'd have you drag it over. Geography is a bitch.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
10/22/18 9:57 p.m.

Do you know a good machine shop? You could take the heads in and have them checked over to see if they find any problems with them. The only down side is your engine would then be torn apart and the car would be that much more difficult to sell if you bailed on it.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/23/18 5:01 a.m.

I’d be making arrangements to haul it to Seth’s..

cheeky

wae
wae SuperDork
10/23/18 12:45 p.m.

Yeah, if I were closer I'd be doing some massive puppy dog eyes smiley

I took my video of the noise, extracted the audio, loaded it up in audacity and counted the number of spikes (ticks) in a 10 second period of time.  I get 58.5 which works out to 351 ticks per minute.

Again, I really don't know E36 M3 from Shinola when it comes to this sort of stuff, but if the engine is idling at 700ish RPM and the problem was crank, bearing, rod, piston, or foreign object in crankcase/piston shouldn't I get that noise 700ish times per minute?

wae
wae SuperDork
10/23/18 12:47 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Well, I'm getting pretty good at getting in and out of that motor, so that and just getting a used right head are two options that I'm keeping on the table.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/23/18 12:54 p.m.

In reply to wae :

The only instance where I could imagine a half speed knock would be a broken piston skirt or possibly a rod bearing that only knocked when that cylinder fired, every other revolution. I would think there would still be some other knocking noises present if that was the case. Maybe not loud but at least noticeable.  

Get it up in the air with one of these and pinpoint the knock.

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/23/18 12:59 p.m.
wae said:

Yeah, if I were closer I'd be doing some massive puppy dog eyes smiley

I took my video of the noise, extracted the audio, loaded it up in audacity and counted the number of spikes (ticks) in a 10 second period of time.  I get 58.5 which works out to 351 ticks per minute.

Again, I really don't know E36 M3 from Shinola when it comes to this sort of stuff, but if the engine is idling at 700ish RPM and the problem was crank, bearing, rod, piston, or foreign object in crankcase/piston shouldn't I get that noise 700ish times per minute?

This is why I think they don't know the answer and gave you a "go away" quote. 

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